Rescue Bots Bumblebee (Motorcycle) Toy Review

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Rescue Bots

Rescue Bots

General Information:
Release Date: April 2014
Price Point: $7.97 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

*Images with asterisks and text in italics from Amazon.com:
Playskool Heroes is the big-boy brand for little hands, and the popular Rescue Bots figures are always ready for action! You can let your imagination go wild and create lots of exciting rescue scenarios in which you become the hero. Now you can dream up an action-packed world in which Bumblebee comes to the rescue!. Includes Bumblebee figure.

  • Robot and motorcycle modes.
  • Easy-to-do conversion.
  • Popular Bumblebee Transformers character.
  • Big-boy heroes that fit small hands.
  • Motorcycle.
  • Ages 3 -7.
  • Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

Rescue Bots continues in its third year as the segment of the "Transformers" line aimed at kids 7 years and below. Unlike last year's line, which focused on a bulk of the characters being retools and redecos of the previous years toys, this year introduces a whole new set of sculpts along with a new size. This line of "Rescue Bots" figures is about 2/3 the size of the previous figures. This still makes them big enough for kids to manipulate, but also reduces the cost (and for collectors, storage room) of each toy. Among the first wave of these new "Rescue Bots" is Bumblebee!

Robot Mode:
In his previous "Rescue Bots" incarnation, Bumblebee had the vehicle mode of a sports car, inspired by his appearance in the live action films. This time out he's taken on the form of a motorcycle in vehicle mode. The design elements of this mode carry over into the robot mode, and almost every section of this form calls out some feature of his vehicle form. His head design is a modified version of the head design used on previous "Rescue Bots" Bumblebee designs, which in turn borrows its rounded shape with a small "mouth piece" over the lower part of the face from the live action movies. I also think that some of this head design is reminscent of "Bumper", a G1 character who, like Bumblebee, was a "Mini-Bot" in G1. Elements of Bumper's head design include the three raised lines on the top of the head and the details that flair out to the sides. It may just be me reading too much into the designs, but the parallels are interesting. Leading to the rest of the body is a bit of a "collar" around the head which looks like mechanical straps on either side of his neck angling downward.

I mentioned most of the robot mode echoes the vehicle mode. This is most obvious on his torso and legs. The torso has six cyclinders sticking out to the sides (three on each side), indicating a bulk of his torso is made up of the motorcycle engine. The top of the torso section has a windshield design which mimicks a similar design from the vehicle form. The legs have two exhaust pipes running down the sides down to his feet. His arms each have a wheel on them, which I can see being used as shields of some sort in this mode. The legs also feature wheels from the vehicle mode, though they really don't serve any potential function other than filling up space in the middle of the legs.

Bumblebee is cast in yellow and black plastic. The yellow has a slight metallic shine on it, giving it a brighter appearance than the typical "canary" yellow seen on many Bumblebee toys. The wheels are cast in black which contrasts nicely against the yellow. Paint applications are done in light blue, silver, white and black. Light blue is used on the eyes and the faux-windshield detail on his chest. Silver is used for the exhaust pipes on his legs and fists. White is used for more subtle details including some on the chest and the "Rescue Bots" style Autobot symbol on the chest. Black is used for small details on the forearms and the head. Most of these are very traditional Bumblebee colors and they look very good. However, I do find myself wishing some more silver was used for the cylinders on the sides of the torso, but that's my only real reservation.

There is no real articulation to speak of (which keeps with "Rescue Bots" tradition) but Bumblebee's fists do have 5mm ports. This allows him to hold accessories from the previous "Energize" line of figures or even other lines like "Transformers Prime".

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
Like the previous versions figures from "Rescue Bots", these figures feature one step transformations. In this case, you swing Bumblebee's arms together. This causes them to snap together (you may have to push them to fill in the seams) and the legs also push together in this form.

Vehicle Mode:
Bumblebee's vehicle form is a mash up of two different kinds of motorcycles. This includes the Kawasaki Ninja and Dodge Tomahawk. The top part of the vehicle looks like the Kawasaki complete with a curved front end and rounded seating area and a rear section that comes out a bit at the back beyond the wheels. The lower part is reminscent of the Tomahawk, most nobaly with its four wheels and engine section in the center. Additional detail includes springs in the back section and sculpted details for the seats and readouts under the windshield. Bumblebee looks sleek and powerful all at the same time in this form. The only bad part about the sculpt is that his robot mode arms show off prominently in this form due to the way he transforms.

This mode features mostly yellow plastic, but there are a lot more black details painted on. The rear section has a black line design which echoes the abdomen of a bee in color. This is a subtle and fun touch in my book. Black paint is also used on the seat and the area in front of it as well as the handlebars. Some more black detail is used towards the front of the vehicle. The windshield section is painted light blue and white is used for headlights that also resemble insectoid eyes. I really dig the subtle nods to the "bee" part of Bumblebee's name. They look great and I'm happy to see so much color detail in the vehicle form.

Unlike many motorcycle Transformers, Bumblebee does not need a kickstand to stay in place. The four wheels give him stability and he can stay in place without any problems.

Final Thoughts:
Bumblebee is a fun update of the character. In a way, a motorcycle form fits the character better than the sports car we've seen the past few years. It's small, like G1 Bumblebee's form and would allow him to act as a spy or messenger more quickly. From a rescue standpoint, I can see this form letting him get to the scene of an emergency fast and taking routes his larger Rescue Bots brethren may not be able to. Recommended for kids and older fans who don't mind simpler designs.